By Dominic J Larsen, Clarion Staff
Hurricane Matthew is one of the fiercest cyclones to hit the Caribbean and United States in nearly a decade. On September 28, the small tropical storm was categorized as a Category 3 storm (111-130mph) and entered Greater Antilles. Once there, Hurricane Matthew pounded the island nations of Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and many other smaller populated islands. The U.N. secretary-general’s special representative to Haiti, Mourad Wahba told reporters, “Hurricane Matthew is the largest humanitarian event since the earthquake.” Over 1,000 citizens in Haiti alone have perished in the ravenous storm with many more dying due to dehydration and cholera outbreaks. The death toll in the Caribbean is unknown as the situation is still ongoing.
Hurricane Matthew moved further north, and made land fall in Florida on October 6. FEMA administrator Craig Fugate issued a statement saying, “We have not seen a hurricane this strong in almost a decade.” The statement also urged citizens to listen to local government as they asked for evacuations. Massive amounts of rain and powerful gusts have lead to many towns in the Southeast to flood. While most deaths are not directly from the storm, at least 6 people have drowned in flooded areas. Hurricane Matthew has claimed 36 lives in the United States, 20 of them in North Carolina alone.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have lost their homes and loved ones. We hope that those who are lost at the moment are found and safely returned to their families and friends.